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Venture Capital and the Structure of Capital Markets: Banks Versus Stock Markets

Ronald J. Gilson

Stanford Law School; Columbia Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Bernard S. Black

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law; Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

November 1997

Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 47, pp. 243-277, 1998

The United States has many banks that are small relative to large corporations and play a limited role in corporate governance, and a well developed stock market with an associated market for corporate control. In contrast, Japanese and German banks are fewer in number but larger in relative size and are said to play a central governance role. Neither country has an active market for corporate control. We extend the debate on the relative efficiency of bank- and stock market-centered capital markets by developing a further systematic difference between the two systems: the greater vitality of venture capital in stock market-centered systems. Understanding the link between the stock market and the venture capital market requires understanding the contractual arrangements between entrepreneurs and venture capital providers; especially the importance of the opportunity to enter into an implicit contract over control, which gives a successful entrepreneur the option to reacquire control from the venture capitalist by using an initial public offering as the means by which the venture capitalist exits from a portfolio investment. We also extend the literature on venture capital contracting by offering an explanation for two central characteristics of the U.S. venture capital market: relatively rapid exit by venture capital providers from investments in portfolio companies; and the common practice of exit through an initial public offering.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

JEL Classification: G23, G32

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Date posted: September 11, 1996  

Suggested Citation

Gilson, Ronald J. and Black, Bernard S., Venture Capital and the Structure of Capital Markets: Banks Versus Stock Markets (November 1997). Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 47, pp. 243-277, 1998. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=46909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.46909

Contact Information

Ronald J. Gilson (Contact Author)
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-723-0614 (Phone)
650-725-0253 (Fax)

Columbia Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-1655 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
B-1050 Brussels
Bernard S. Black
Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2784 (Phone)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-5049 (Phone)
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Feedback to SSRN

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